Sunday, January 21, 2007

My first week in hell

Hello girls and boys!

Here's a recap of my first week at work:

1. These people W.O.R.K. seemingly every second of the day (I am HOPING this is just my skeweing of what really IS). **I AM happy to have a job though**

2. I have no problem with working, but am NOT.USED.TO.WORKING.AT.A.PACE. like that. Period. Nor do I WANT to get "used to" working at a pace like that. I have NEVER had a job where I have been busy damn near EVERY.SECOND.OF.THE.DAY. And fuck that "it makes the day go by faster" shit. **I AM happy to have a job though**

3. This business is growing SO FAST that there are literally 200 (give or take) people hired per month. The recruiting team ain't THAT big. So that's alot of interviewing, talking screening, and hiring. And this business is STILL growing!! That's good and bad.
- Good: Job ain't tied to automotive THANK GOD, opportunities to move up quickly
-Bad: There is ALWAYS more work to do in LESS time. There seems to be no room to "pace" yourself
**I AM happy to have a job though**

4. The people seem nice and the company for the MOST part is a "young" culture, meaning my rough guesstimate is that about 75-85% of the people are age 21-45. And that INCLUDES senior management! I have allllllways been used to working with old, stodgy, white men (or women)who (sr. mgt-wise)were between 45-65. There is a HUUUUUUGE difference! The ideas are fresher here and due to age, they (unfortunately) work like Hebrews. My ass can NOT be the one staying until 8 and 9pm on ANY night. I have a young child who I HAVE TO pick up (my husband can NOT pick him up on most nights because HE is "the one" in his job to be staying late and shit. Can't have TWO of us, when we have NO oner to pck up our child, so it has to be me.) **I AM happy to have a job though**

5. There is a difference between working hard (which is semi-o.k.) and working like a HEBREW. It "seems" like they work like the latter. **I AM happy to have a job though**

6. I have literally come home with a headache almost everyday and woken up with one too from sheer exhaustion and my nose has "spontaenously" started to bleed on two of those days. I think that is a combo of being off work for two and a half months and not doing SHIT half the time at my last job. ( I had pleeeeeeeeeeeenty of free time at my last job...hell, there were some weeks where I coulda worked reeeeeeeeeally hard for ONE day and took the rest of the week off and been O.K.). I also am having to learn the jobs that I will be recruiting for and the jobs are complicated and it's really like learning a whole new language because of what the jobs entail. Think about how stressful and straining it is to be in "learning mode" for an 8-hour period......where you have to pay "hard" attention and really learn every second because you KNOW you can't afford to be going back and saying "now what did you say...I really wasn't paying that much attetnion before". That is why (I am sure) that I have had these nosebleeds. Too much intense strain on my brain in a very short period of time.

My boss has had me sitting with people and trying to learn the jobs that I will be recruiting for (which is a GREAT thing actually)(but when I say that I have been sitting with people to "job shadow" back-to-back-to-back-to-back-to-back..... I mean just that! No breaks for a 3 hour period...and new info. with every 30 minute session! WTF???? One day my boss didn't even take into account when she set me up for shit that I needed a LUNCH hour! So, on that day.... I didn't get one because I had to shuttle from one location to the other and didn't have time to stop or it woulda put me behind for all SUCCESSIVE meetings she had me scheduled for!) , in additon to meeting with HER boss, going to a preliminary orientation and just learning other basic shit about the job).

I have been so BUSY this week that on a couple days I barely had time to EAT!!! Now, I personally think that my boss (who is like 30) does NOT realize how stressful of a week she just put me through. She's used to it and maybe because she be staying late as SHIT (she has no husband and no children) she can do shit AFTER most of us leave.....**shrug** But I also feel that I can't tell her "you need to slow this shit the FUCK down and let me at LEAST soak in the culture before you throw me in HEAD-FIRST to the fucking wolves!" because I feel like she might think (to herself) "aww shit..... I TOLD her we were busy as fuck and she CAN.NOT handle it". We don't want her to feel like that because it's not about that. I am a new employee and I haven't even been able to sit and READ through the 2inch thick binder of shit that I was given!!! My theory is that when people are just coming to a job, you need to let them get acclimated SLOW.LY , not snatch them onto the train and leave their legs dangling outside the caboose! And that is how I feel. **I AM happy to have a job though**

5. I hope that this feeling goes away and shit gets better or I might keep searching. **I AM happy to have a job though**

6. The benefits and little 'perks' are GREAT!!! Also the company's ideas are quite revolutionary and the environment is (minus every employee seemingly being stretched thin) a fun environment to work in. **I AM happy to have a job though**

7. And I have NO idea if I can blog or not (still trying to figure out how "secure " and strict their internet restrictions are....yes,I know..... I ain't trying to get FIRED in week one.) Personally after reading the policy I "think" they do not monitor your shit per se, but I think that there is some kinda direct alarm that identifies you to I.T. if you go on a porn site (becasue in the manual it says "while we don't monitor your internet usage....if you access sites with porn, racially offensive or other similarly offensive sites you WILL be automatically idendified" ...which would NEVER be an issue with me!). But I am just wading in the waters for right now..... ya know? Feeling shit out. Actually, I wanna ask this black girl (cool girl from the hood) if I can go to other sites other than "sites needed for work". Actually, I AM going to ask her..... tomorrow! I know she will tell me!!

So, there you have it. My first week in hell (and I mean that oh-so-lovingly). Hopefully I will move BACK to purgatory at LEAST because I do like the people and the team I am working on (at least I think I do! HA!!!) LOL I know, there's always a learning curve and I don't know how to communicate to my boss (even though she's a young black chick) that though I KNOW we are busy, I need more of a slowed pace to "get in the groove" of the organization. I guess there is no way and I will just have to take it one headache/nosebleed at a time. Take it for what it's worth...... I'm going back to bed and again.... knowing ones limitations is KEY.

I am usually TOO busy too tired to blog at night, so I'll see ya'll when I see ya'll.

**I AM happy to have a job though**

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Learning Hard lessons


I grew up as an only child, my mother’s prized possession. My mother, a proud, slightly introverted, fiercely protective over me, private and uberly fabulous fashionable woman was always in style. When I was little I can remember going to the then J.L. Hudson’s ,Saks 5th Avenue and a local upscale type of store called Jacobson’s department stores and loving seeing all the clothes. Usually when we went, my mom would buy me a little something and as I got older I came to expect it when we went out. It didn’t take long for me to be lured by the intoxicating elixir that malls entice so many women with. And I was living up to my “genetic predisposition” towards shopping!

I can remember being 9 years old (this was in 1979) and Gloria Vandebilt, Calvin Klein, Sassoon and Jordache jeans were all the rage. Well, G.V. had the matching jean jackets in a plethora of pastels to please everyone. My mom would ROUTINELY buy me these name brand clothes and at that age I can REMEMBER getting a STANK-ASS attitude if she DIDN’T buy me what I wanted, when I wanted it. I was turning into a brat. She would of course threaten not to get me NOTHING and I would still silently pout (if nowhere else but in my mind) and hope that MAYBE she would still get it (whatever “it” was) for me. Sometimes she did, sometimes she didn’t.

Little did I know that my mother, being a single mom, sometimes had no money or little money. She was the type if I asked her how much she made or ANYTHING about her “business” the only answer I would get was a question, “why?” She was fiercely private, even with me. Just the other day when we were talking she said to me “I tried to shield you from the fact that sometimes money was soooooo tight……. *pause*…..sometimes I only had soup for lunch or no lunch at all”. These are things that I have gleaned from her only in recent years. I never saw a hint of that shit. All I can remember is getting MOST of what I wanted and having a normal, happy childhood. When I was a child I can remember Christmas morning’s waking up to at LEAST 30-40 presents under the tree and I looked forward to that SOOOOO much. I remember us living in a fairly upscale downtown apt. (partially because as a single mom she did not want a house with a toddler to raise----she left my father when I was 3----nor did she want to have to even THINK about my father, who was an alcoholic, possibly being able to gain access to our domicile or showing up acting crazy at our door, so she paid MORE to live in an apt. building with a 24-hr lobby guard and underground parking). My father could act a COMPLETE ass when he was drunk. But I never knew how HARD it apparently was for her or what kinda credit card debt she was in.....not until I was WAY grown. She was the type of parent that was DEFINITELY of the “I am yo momma, NOT yo friend and MY business is just that---MYYYYYYY business so don’t ask!”

I think that type of mentality did me both a service and a disservice. On one hand it was great that she shielded me from some of the grown-up harshness of not having or struggling or just being stressed out. I can literally NEVER remember my mother being impatient or cross with me due to her bad day or lack of money. My mother was a constant even keel. I found out in recent years that that is because that is how she deals with things…..she bottles them up until she can’t take it and then shit comes flying out. She says that is something about herself that she wishes she didn’t do. Thing is, I never saw that side of her. On the flip side if I had have seen some of her angst over money or situations, I might not have developed a false sense of “I'm really not worried about what might go wrong.....everything will just take care of itself” that haunts me even today. It is so hard for me to save money. She is and was a great mother and I am glad she doesn’t read this because she might take what I am saying the wrong way and that is far from my intent. But I now know that it is because of how SHE dealt with money that has, albeit unintentionally, taught me how to deal with money and has caused my STILL tumultuous affair with money.

I am a person who believes that because I work hard, I should be able to get whatever the FUCK I want to get and uh…yeah, yeah, yeah….. I’ll pay for it later. When in college and immediately after I had more credit cards than the law allows. I amassed a $22,000 debt in about 4-5 years. I traveled some with friends, shopped, bought Via Spiga shoes like they were Nine West shoes and generally did what I wanted. Then when I was about to turn 30, I decided that enough was enough. I could hardly make the MINIMUM payments on my credit cards and of COURSE the balances BARELY decreased each month. I was so bothered that I PHYSICALLY felt the effects of having that debt hanging over my head. I felt like I was about to develop an ulcer. There were months where after paying bills and gas for my car that I had like $70 for food and I DO NOT take kindly to Ramen Noodles, so I got a second job to help. I hated it. I do NOT like working 2 jobs. I like to relax and fucking CHILL when I come home! I swore EVERY.DAY.THAT.I.WORKED.I consolidated ALL my credit cards except for one Visa with a company that simply talks to your creditors to get you lower payments each month and basically cancels your credit with that store (which DID fuck up my credit) and paid it all off by the time I was 34. I did it 10 days before my 34th birthday.

But my demons still remain. I am 36. I still do not save and I still like to shop , for what I want, when I want (within reason and budget). The credit card debt is nowhere NEAR the 22k, but it’s not zero either. My husband is the EXACT.OPPOSITE. He is a saver. Since we have been together he has , admittedly, “let me have most of the discretionary money each month and because it makes me happy and even though it PAINS him NOT to be more frugal….spend it how I want to and NOT focus on saving”. This is counterintuitive to his soul and we have gotten into MORE BLOW-UP, KNOCKDOWN, ARGUMENTS over money. I just never seem to have enough to do/get/spend what I want AND save. So, I don’t do the latter.

Well, as all of you know my recent job loss has refocused a number of things for me. I will be starting a new gig on Tuesday and prior to the loss of my job, I had begun to really read Single Ma and starting to learn more about money in an attempt to reprogram my hardwired desire to NOT take saving seriously. After all, my mother didn’t save, thusly I never saw the value in saving and I have been “lucky” enough to have someone to bail me out of those few times when I needed some money. Like I said, I do NOT blame her because SHE was never taught and since my daddy didn’t help her out with SHIT, she was IT as far as income. I didn’t have a savings account or a college savings plan. It just wasn’t possible. But I shopped. My mother ALWAYS let me have (within reason) a lot of what I wanted. But the thing I needed was a respect for money. That’s a hard one. I can remember being a kid and my mom saying that she didn’t have money on her for something simple and I’d be like “well, just go get some out of the bank”. To me it was just that simple ---- go get it cause I know you have it----and she never gave me a reason to feel OTHER wise. My momma was college educated and had a master’s degree but those do not make a finance major and if SHE was never taught it, she couldn’t teach me. It is still a demon I face daily. I intend to reverse that with my child and with myself. After all I am nearing 40 with nothing to show for SHIT. This is my coming out and my child is my impetus for change. Change is hard, but I know that I must for the betterment of my family. I am gathering …….slowly…..books on saving and we plan on visiting this guy that I went to high school and college with who is a financial planner very soon. I am also going to enroll in the 401(k) plan IMMEDIATELY. Though I am making LESS than I was at my other job, there is no time or opportunity like the present to get it together and make some positive moves.

Through the constant urging of my husband and maybe a little bit of old fashioned maturity, I see (**I’m getting there**) that I can’t just do what I want to do and not be patient. Oh, and that’s ANOTHER HUGE fault of mine that has been one SINCE probably….birth! I am NOT patient. I would rather have things NOW…..and saving is COMPLETELY opposite of that. I have always felt when I did get a lil money in the bank “DAMN, what I could be DOING with that cheddar!”. I simply have never had a forward thinking mindset.

But I am changing that within myself and my heart so that my child knows how to handle money starting now and much earlier than his mother did.

Friday, January 12, 2007

I got a job!!!


O.K, before I get into the glitz-n-glam about my new job (not!), I am gonna say this: It is NOT the job that I wanted but my girl Diva hooked me up with the connect that GOT me this job, so for that and her I am EXTREMELY thankful!!

The job is a Recruiter position, which is something that I have ALLLLLLLLLLLLWAYS said I NEVER (and I repeat,) NEVER wanted to SOLELY do. (murphy’s law huh? That this is the ONE thing –other then payroll—that I said that I.DID. NOT want to do in the HR realm and that is EXACTLY what came my way!) Why? Because I have been an HR Manager for 7 years. Being an HR Manager means that you do a variety of functions in a variety of areas ( employee relations questions, benefits, compensation, recruiting, orientations, training, etc). whereas being a recruiter is just that……. Recruiting. Nothing more, nothing less. ***crickets***

So, my MAIN reason for taking this job is that the pay (though it is less) is only $7,000, less and I have the ability to make that up because the employees in this company get between a 1-25% bonus (with most people averaging between 10-15% !!!!). AND the fact that my black ass needed a job! PRONTO! And the benefits are ALMOST as good as the last company I worked for (the main difference is that the company I used to work for followed the Big 3’s shutdown schedule----meaning I got a week off in July and the WHOLE week of Christmas off…..and PAID…..yeah….I’mma miss THAT shit badly…**big assed sigh**).

The one other downfall of this job is that there is NO.PRIVACY. When I say that I mean that I do not have my own cube. I SHARE a fuckin cube which is set up in a semi-circle set-up and me & my semi-circle-mate sit at either end of the semi-circle. I HATE, and I REPEAT, I HATE this set-up. I need privacy. I have ALWAYS had privacy. At least a fucking cube to myself man!!!! And the WHOLE company is like this!!! My boss SHARES an office which to me looks like a big assed cube! And the bad thing about her office is that her BACK is to the window! (I personally HATE having people sneak up on me and me not know that they are there and I HATE having my back to doors. And I do mean HATE.) I mean, I can’t pick my nose, look at e-mail, BLOG, just relax for a couple minutes or so NOTHING without another bitch looking over my shoulder and possibly judging what I am/am not doing !!!! AND….. I’ll be sitting with my BACK to my semi-circle-cubemate, so who KNOWS if she’s looking at my computer screen if I TRY to say, look at a blog, e-mail……etc…..UGHHHHHHH!!!!!

***SIDENOTE*** Now ya’ll probably are saying how you gon be concerned with BLOGGING & READING E-MAILS and yo ass ain’t even THERE yet and JUST got the job! Well, ya’l tell me (for those of you that have been used to doing it) if your blogging abilities were taken away or if there was suddenly someone looking at EVERY.THING you sent on e-mail that YOU wouldn’t be bothered! Well, that’s how I feel….. I was USED to having those flexibilities (which I viewed as part of keeping me SANE at work) and now they are seemingly gone. Some friends have said that “everybody ain’t working 100% of the time EITHER, so don’t worry….. you won’t be the only one doing “other” things at work”……. Yeah….. o.k….we’ll see.

You know how sometimes if you are having a rough day or just need to have a semi-private conversation a cube provides you with that 5 minutes of down-time to be semi-private, but here…… NOPE! I will see how that works…..cause I have my reservations to be honest. Flatly put….. I don’t like it and probably never will.

The GOOD thing is that the chick who will be my boss is a young (younger than me…..about 30 or so) black chick. I can honestly say that the BEST jobs that I have EVER had were working for the two black women that I worked for. They were EXTREMELY articulate, educated and professional, but BOTH were “real” and fair. This chick seems the same. She already said that her motto is "as long as you get the job done...I don't care.....". And even though she’s younger than me (which is iggin’ me a lil bit) and the fact that I feel like this job is a step DOWN in terms of responsibility and I feel like it might make it HARDER for me to move BACK into a manager’s role…… I am hoping it will be cool.

If nothing else, it IS a job and isn’t that what I needed?????? YUP!!! I just know that if I stay in this role (recruiter) that it WILL be harder and harder to get a managerial job in the future. I know it will. Kinda like if I went from being a manager to customer service for 3 years, they'd look at you like "well you have been outta the functional 'loop' so to speak" and might pass you by for a managerial role. So, I can't stay in this position for long...... I feel that I am handicapping my OWN career by doing so. ya know?? And being black in America is ENOUGH of a handicap that I do NOT need a position that I worked so HARD to get, to be negated by this downgrade. So, if I don’t see some promotional opp’s soon (like within a year), especially given my background….. I’mma be looking again. It’s kinda like going from being a sous chef to a dishwasher…….. so I gotta get back into management…..use it or lose it.

But thankfully I haven’t missed ANY money since I just stopped getting paid on 12/28 and I have gotten 2 weeks of unemployment already and I start on Tuesday. So, I thank GOD for the blessing and the opportunity (yeah, I know I have been all complaining, but I am STILL thankful). So, save the “you shouldn’t be complaining” commentary….. because I am thankful…VERY thankful in fact… but as in everything in life, with some good comes some bad……

I’m just happy to be back to working soon!

Thursday, January 04, 2007

The Time is make a change.

Where I wanna be…..

There’s something in me that is real that wants to make a difference, and then…..there is something in me that says “fuck it, live for yourself”. But one thing that I have learned about myself (as is true with most humans) I get the most satisfaction from feeling of service.

In the year 2007 there are some things that I want to do.

1. Feel better in my core about the contribution I , personally, am making to the world.
2. lower my blood pressure (because I get so worked up over shit )and take on the old adage “change the things you can and don’t worry about the things you can’t” or something like that.
3. Get back to who “I” am…..and start making my life the best it can be.
4. Really change my eating habits and lose some weight
5. Try not to let other people’s realities control me
6. Be a better mother & wife
7. Control anger and anxiety
8. Save more and desire less

These aren’t necessarily “resolutions” to me they are ongoing goals.

I truly like giving back to people whether it be through my photography (giving people a product that they love), or simply helping someone understand how to do something. So, in looking for another job, I have been trying to put myself in that mind frame in terms of finding a job. I didn’t want to take necessarily the first job that came about. Though I knew the constraints on that. Meaning, I was running out of money. When the money runs out, changes in my lifestyle have to be made. Therefore decisions must be made.

I do not have an official job yet, but there is one in the wings, and the money is still running out…….